The initials "TPO" stand for thermoplastic olefin. This is essentially a type of plastic. It is more slippery than most plastics, and it is also quite tough. Over the years, TPO has been increasingly used as a roofing material. So, this begs the question, should you choose TPO as the roofing material for your new-build home? Here are some factors to consider as you make your choice.
TPO works well on flat and low-slope roofs.
A lot of modern homes are being designed with roofs that are flat or close to flat. TPO performs really well on flat roofs. Since it forms a continuous barrier, it is less likely to leak if water puddles on it or sits on it for an extended period. There are not a lot of materials that perform this well on flat roofs, so if your new home does have a flat roof, you should strongly consider TPO as an option.
TPO is very affordable.
TPO comes in big sheets, which your installer basically unrolls onto your roof surface and glues down. The material itself is inexpensive, and installation is inexpensive because it goes quickly. Building a new home can be really costly, and if you are looking for ways to keep costs down, choosing TPO roofing can be a smart way to do so.
TPO is white and reflective.
Some people like the look of TPO and others do not. So, definitely look at some homes with TPO roofing before you decide whether to choose it for your home. It's white. That means it can coordinate with many different siding colors, but it does also mean it stands out, especially in more traditional areas where all the other homes have black or gray shingle roofs. Of course, the white color also means TPO is very reflective and helps keep your home cool, so that is something else to consider.
TPO roofs should be inspected often.
These roofing membranes, while quite durable, can develop tears. The tears soon lead to leaks. You can't always see the tears from the ground, which means you do need to have a roofing contractor inspect the roof every few years.
If you can commit to routine inspections and don't mind the white color, TPO roofing can be a very good choice. Talk to a residential roofer or building contractor to learn more about this roofing material, its cost, and its benefits.